By Katie, Contributing Writer
For my birthday, a friend of mine gave me a book by Carolyn Mahaney. Carolyn and her daughters are the authors of the website Girl Talk. It’s a fantastic resource for women!
The book is called Feminine Appeal. I have just started it but it is very good so far. She is basing the book on Titus chapter 2 verses 3-5. The Message version of this passage says :
Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
Mrs. Mahaney remarks that with the focus of our society, we educate for every career. Every job requires some sort of training. But marriage? Motherhood or homemaking? Most of the time, the majority of women are just thrown in head first, perhaps with only so much as a little “helpful advice”. The author writes:
Isn’t it telling that our culture requires training and certification for so many vocations of lesser importance, but hands us marriage and motherhood without instruction? Fortunately, God hasn’t left us to fend for ourselves. He has provided invaluable wisdom for women in His Word. (Mahaney,20)
And that is true! But God does not leave us without a guide.
According to the passage in Titus, more mature women are to take younger women under their wing and teach them. What are they to teach them? “…to be reverent in the way they live, not be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.”
How Do We Become Titus 2 Women?
How do we learn this? By example. We learn by what we see. It’s basic, natural instincts. Monkey see, monkey do. Teach them to be reverent in the way they live… Reverent means to show deep and solemn respect. By example, we are to teach how to live a respectful lifestyle that honors God.
The passage tells us more about this lifestyle:
…urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
God lays it all out for us here. These are the things we are to teach the younger Christians.
We live a reverent life by,
Urging each other to love our husbands and our children.
So often, I fail at loving them the way God calls me to love them; the way He loves me.
Later in the book, Ms. Mahaney speaks about the different types of love. The love quoted in this passage is Phileo which is often used as a description of the love between good friends (pg 32). Carolyn describes Phileo love as,
… a tender, affectionate, passionate kind of love. It emphasizes enjoyment and respect in a relationship (pg 32).
Encouraging each other to be self-controlled and pure.
We can’t be perfect but we are called be pure of heart, mind, and body. We maintain this purity by self-control.
I heard once about a father who was trying to teach self-control to his teenage son. He said to his son, “Hey! Go grab your coat and shoes and all the money you’ve been saving to buy that new video game. We’re going to the store!” His son, of course, was ecstatic. When they arrived at the store, the boy picked up the video game and even played a demo of the game. As they were preparing to leave, the father said, “Ok, put the game back, let’s go.” With a shocked expression, the son said “But, Dad! I thought we were buying this today!?” With a serious face and loving eyes the father replied, “Just because you have something you desperately want within your grasp, and you even have the means to take it, doesn’t mean you should have it. Let’s go.”
Encouraging each other to stay busy at home.
To me, this is an encouragement in the form of a command. Our home is a place of solace. It should be peaceful, inviting and warm. I so struggle with keeping busy at home with the things that need done. God says, stay busy! After all, keeping busy accomplishes much and keeps us out of trouble.
Encouraging each other to be kind.
Why do you think God separates this command? Probably because it’s important…
Remember the verse? I learned it in a song… Be ye kind, one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another even as God, in Christ, has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32.
Encouraging each other to remain subject to our husbands.
God is not anti-female. He is not antagonistic. He loves you and He wants the best for your marriage.
What would happen if more mature Christian women encouraged younger Christian women to do this on a daily basis? Do you think there would be a reversal of the 50+ percentage of divorces in the country? To be subject is to be dependent upon or under the authority of someone or something. We are all under some type of authority whether we like it or not. But in this case, it’s a place of protection. A place of honor. A place of dignity.
(The above statement is directed at safe, monogamous marriages where both partners are Christians.)
Living out the Titus 2 Model
If you know a younger Christian woman, seek her out. If you are mother with daughters, teach them these things diligently. If you are a young Christian wife or mother, seek out godly counsel. God’s plan for us is always good and right. We should follow His ways and then, we will lead a blessed life.